Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
Today I have Ms. Joey Paul as a guest blogger. Remember that if you want to write a guest post for me, drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are no limitations to what you’d like to blog about. Here we go!
Every writer will tell you that there is a moment when they realise that the talent they have is something that can not be locked away inside of them. They’ll tell you that there was a time, be it circumstances or by design, when they realised that they had a story that had to be told. Or maybe a few stories. Every writer starts somewhere and I’m going to tell you where I started.
When I was five years old, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: I wanted to be a doctor, a pediatrician, to be exact. I wanted to work in medicine because I grew up in hospitals and doctor’s offices. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was eighteen months old, which then turned into Type One Brittle Asthma when I was seven. I was determined that that was my career, my chosen path, and nothing was going to sway me from that path. I worked diligently all the way through school, got the grades I needed, and after my GCSEs, I went to college to do A-levels so that I could go to university and then medical school.
Now, as I’m sat here writing this, you know that something happened that steered me from my chosen path. When I was thirteen, I wrote stories with my friends and even planned what I would do with the thousands in royalties I would earn from these stories. I never planned for it to become my job, but life has a funny way of changing things that you thought were set in stone.
My health deteriorated while I was in my first term at college. I ended up dropping out at seventeen and going to work in various jobs until at nineteen, my health went completely down the drain, and I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalopathy (M.E), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the US. I ended up off sick from work for three months, and then finally being medically retired from my job. A few short months later, and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a handful of other conditions. I was told that I would never work a conventional job again.
I was living with my best friend, claiming benefits and facing a life of no career, no prospects, and lots of spare time on my hands. This was 2001, and I spent the time whilst learning to cope with all these conditions, flicking through books, playing on the internet, and reaching out to people in similar situations. It was then that I found a copy of one of the stories I’d written at thirteen. I cringed as I read through the “chapters” and the poor storyline. I knew that if I was going to be stuck inside and not work, then I was going to do something with my life.
I spent the next four months pulling apart every chapter of that story, writing and re-writing it so that it was unrecognisable. Once that was done, I started a new one. I wrote a story that had been sitting in my head for years. It took me ten days, and then when I was done with that, I realised I did have something I could do. I could write. So, I pulled up publishing information and started looking for a way to get my books to the point of publication. I didn’t manage it until 2005, when my first book was released.
By that point, I had written one more and had a fourth started. I found my time lost to worlds I had made though imagination and typing. I kept going and although I can’t say that I spent every moment I had writing, I was usually thinking about it. My health conditions meant that I wasn’t always well enough to write, and eventually after a long flare I found myself unable to hold a pen and write more than a few words, a sentence at most. That was when I turned to typing the books. When my publishing contract fell through, I went independent. I created the Bug Books logo and finally released my second book in 2011. My third and fourth followed six months later.
Today I have six books available through the Bug Books label. I employ a graphic artist, an editor, various proof readers and I am writing books eleven and twelve side by side. My health dictates so much of what I can and can not do. I am unable to walk more than a few steps and I use a wheelchair outside of the house. Some days, I don’t make it out of bed for more than a couple of hours. But I still write. The words may not make it onto the screen, but in my head, I’m always writing, always thinking of new places to take my characters and new ways to explore different worlds and new journeys.
I’ve seen ghosts, traveled back in time. I’ve solved various murders, and even plotted a few of them myself. I’ve brought to life a number of characters and I have to say that I love every minute of it. It may not have been the path I chose for myself at five, but it’s a damn good path to be on at thirty-one. I write because I love it. I love creating, I love the beginning, the middle, and the end. I love everything there is to be about writing and I can’t see myself ever doing anything else. I’ve always said that when I run out of stories, then I will lay down my keyboard, but until then, I’ll write on!
Bio: “Joey is a 31 year old disabled writer and part time student studying towards a degree in Health and Social Care. She loves to write and is at the moment working on her eleventh and twelfth books, as well as preparing her seventh book for publication. She started writing when she was medically retired from her job at the age of 19. Her first book was released in 2005, and after a brief time away, her second one was released in 2011 by Bug Books, her own personal indie label.
Joey suffers from a number of chronic conditions, including Fibromyalgia and M.E, and although these have an impact on her day to day life, she doesn’t let them stop her from doing what she wants. She enjoys reading books in the crime/mystery & romance genre, though will occasionally dip into young adult dystopia books as well. She passes the time when she’s not writing by writing about writing, strumming on an Ukulele or doing some cross-stitch. She also enjoys watching TV shows such as NCIS, NCIS: LA & CASTLE. Due to her conditions, she has both good and bad days: the good are spent writing, and the bad are spent thinking up new plots and doing more writing. She says she will continue to write until she has run out of stories to tell, which, if you know Joey, may be a very long time!”